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Presentation of intracellular tumor-associated Ags (TAAs) in the context of HLA class I molecules offers unique cancer-specific cell surface markers for the identification and targeting of tumor cells. For most peptide Ags, the levels of and variations in cell surface presentation remain unknown, yet these parameters are of crucial importance when considering specific TAAs as targets for anticancer therapy. Here we use a soluble TCR with picomolar affinity for the HLA-A2-restricted 157-165 epitope of the NY-ESO-1 and LAGE-1 TAAs to investigate presentation of this immunodominant epitope on the surface of a variety of cancer cells. By single molecule fluorescence microscopy, we directly visualize HLA-peptide presentation for the first time, demonstrating that NY-ESO-1/LAGE-1-positive tumor cells present 10-50 NY-ESO-1/LAGE-1(157-165) epitopes per cell.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





7308 - 7316


Amino Acid Sequence, Antigen Presentation, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Antigens, Neoplasm, Antigens, Surface, Cell Line, Tumor, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, HCT116 Cells, HLA-A2 Antigen, Humans, Immunodominant Epitopes, Immunosuppressive Agents, Melanoma, Membrane Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptide Fragments, Protein Binding, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic